Who’s that beautiful lady prominently displayed on the cover of so many recent Jane Austen inspired novels? Why Frenchwoman, Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Bernard Récamier (1777 – 1849), an icon of neoclassicism and a leader of the literary and political circles of the early 19th century. This fine portrait of her was painted in 1802 by her fellow countryman François Gérard (1770-1837) and now hangs in the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. A second portrait of her by Jacques-Louis David became so famous that the style of sofa that she is reclining upon is still called a recamier today. You can visit both the portrait and her stylish sofa at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Here is a display of four recent book covers using her image from the Gérard portrait.